(EDITOR'S NOTE: During the weekly "Ask the Commission" feature, Matt Schowalter or someone else from the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission will tackle your questions. If you have questions for the commission, send them to
What is considered an 'illegal' event and what happens if I participate in one?
This is an issue that I have been dealing with since I started in 2008. I am essentially an office of one, so it can be extremely difficult trying to educate the entire state of Minnesota on the rules and regulations that pertain to combative sports.
Because of this, I sometimes come across venues that hold events without a regulatory body, even though the law requires that one be present. In some cases, it's because the venue, or promoter, is unaware of the statutes pertaining to combative sports. Other times, it's a venue or promoter that knows the regulations, but thinks they can sneak in under the radar and then later claim they were unaware of the statutes.
Unfortunately, ignorance does not exclude you from the law. State statute says that the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) regulates all professional boxing, amateur and professional mixed martial arts (MMA), and amateur and professional toughperson contests in Minnesota.
I'm going to assume that everyone reading this knows the definition of boxing and MMA, but what about toughperson? State statute defines a toughperson contest as "contests marketed as tough man or tough woman contests, means a contest of two-minute rounds consisting of not more than four rounds between two or more individuals who use their hands, or their feet, or both in any manner. Tough person contest does not include kickboxing or any recognized martial arts contest."
So you're probably saying, "But Matt, I'm not competing in toughperson contests, they are 'amateur boxing' contests and that's not something DLI regulates."
In general, you would be correct. However, did you know that the reason DLI doesn't regulate amateur boxing is because it's regulated on a National level by USA Boxing? Whenever I see an ad